Poll: Democratic Candidates More Extreme On Health Care Than Majority Of Their Voters

Vast majority of Democrats oppose government-provided insurance replacing private insurance

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• July 2, 2019 10:45 am


A new CNN poll indicates Democratic presidential candidates have lurched further to the left than their voters on healthcare issues such as eliminating private insurance for government-provided health care and providing health care for illegal immigrants.

The poll asked a sample of 1,613 respondents made up of Democratic and Democratic-leaning independents several major political issues including health care policy proposals from some of the leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

Just 21 percent of respondents said a national health care plan should completely replace private insurance, and 40 percent said the government should not provide a national health insurance plan.

56 percent of overall respondents supported the government providing a national plan, with 32 percent of the respondents favoring a government plan co-existing with private insurance.

Additionally, 59 percent of respondents said the government-provided health care should not be available for illegal immigrants, with 38 percent responding that it should be. During last week's Democratic primary debate, all 10 Democratic candidates on stage on Thursday pledged to provide health care for illegal immigrants.

The poll also suggests a significant enthusiasm for voting in 2020. 42 percent of registered voters said they are "extremely enthusiastic" about voting, 28 percent said they are "very enthusiastic," and 17 percent said they are "somewhat enthusiastic." Only a combined 12 percent of registered voters said they are either "not too enthusiastic" or "not at all enthusiastic" about voting.

Respondents also prioritized defeating President Donald Trump in the election over supporting a candidate who aligns with their ideological views. According to the poll, 61 percent said it is more important to nominate a candidate with a strong chance of defeating Donald Trump, and just 30 percent said it is more important to nominate a candidate who aligns with their views on political issues.

43 percent of respondents said former Vice President Joe Biden has the best chance of defeating Donald Trump, giving him a significant cushion over the other candidates.

Despite this revelation, Biden tumbled in the poll, dropping from 32 percent support in late May to 22 percent. Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) surged from eight percent support to 17 percent, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) also jumped eight points from 7 percent support to 15 percent support.

However, on specific issues like the economy, respondents showed more confidence in Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D., Vt.). 28 percent said they are most confident in Biden's ability to handle the economy, while 20 percent favored Warren, 16 percent favored Sanders, and six percent favored Harris.

On health care, respondents favored Sanders the most, with 26 percent support, Biden in second with 18 percent, and Warren in third with 16 percent. Harris had the most support on dealing with race relations, with 29 percent of respondents saying they had the most confidence in her.

Harris's surge correlates with the high approval she received from voters following the first Democratic debate as 41 percent of registered voters who watched or paid attention to both debates said she did the best job in them.